What did Peg Mossley do?

In S1E19, Emily is recounting to Lorelai how difficult her search for dining chairs had been. Emily says, “I blame Peg Mossley.” Rory asks, “What did Peg Mossley do?” and Lorelai responds, “She lured these two German children to her gingerbread house and then she tried to eat them.” (Emily later explains that Peg Mossley stole all of Emily’s best antiquing spots.)

Lorelai is referencing the tale of Hansel and Gretel, formally written by the Grimm Brothers in the early nineteenth century. In the story, two German children are abandoned in the woods. They stumble across a cottage made of sweets and are quickly lured inside and captured by the old woman who lives there. She plans to fatten them up and eat them, although the children defeat her in the end.




Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels

This post is in response to a rush request from Jordan. I apologize for the lack of actual promptness, but here is the explanation behind the “Nag Hammadi” mention in S4E13.

In S4E13, the Gilmores are at a benefit dinner, and the speaker says, “That is why I thank each and every one of you for your loyal support to the Ephram Wordus Rare Manuscript Acquisition Foundation, because without it, we would just be stuck rooting around Nag Hammadi.”

One lovely thing about this reference is that it is briefly explained in the episode title itself: “Nag Hammadi is Where They Found the Gnostic Gospels.”

Nag Hammadi is a city in Egypt where the Gnostic Gospels were discovered (in a jar) in 1945. The Gnostic Gospels are a collection of thirteen books including the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip. These books are based in Jewish and Christian tradition but for various reasons were rejected from the Canon of Scripture (they were deemed either untrue or unnecessary). The discovery of these manuscripts strongly influenced Christian scholarship in the twentieth century.

The speaker is basically saying that without a foundation dedicated to finding rare manuscripts, they would just be stuck looking in the last place they made a great discovery: Nag Hammadi.

I don’t care if she thinks I’m the whore of Babylon!

In S1E18, Emily is freaking out at Richard because Richard’s mother, Lorelai, offered to give Rory her trust fund early. Richard refuses, and Emily says, “Now you listen to me. I don’t care if she demeans me and looks down on me. I don’t care if she thinks I’ve tarnished the Gilmore name. I don’t care if she thinks I’m the whore of Babylon!”

“The Whore of Babylon” refers to an evil figure from the book of Revelation, chapters 17 and 18, in the Bible. Her full name according to the New International Version of the Bible is:

“Babylon the Great / The Mother of Prostitutes / And of the abominations of the earth.”

Catchy title, right? Some different interpretations of the Whore of Babylon include: the Roman Empire (because it persecuted Christ-followers), Jerusalem (referring to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70), and the Roman Catholic Church (Luther and other post-reformation theologians believed this).

Neither a borrower nor a lender be.

In S1E18, Richard’s mother Lorelai is talking to Rory’s mother Lorelai (so confusing) about how she borrowed money to pay for Rory’s school. Lorelai the elder says, “You know Shakespeare once wrote, ‘Neither a borrower nor a lender be.'”

“Neither a borrower nor a lender be” is a quote from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3. It is advice given by Polonius (King Claudius’ advisor) to his son Laertes before Laertes departs for Paris. Read here for a good summary of the whole play.

One of those Hannibal Lecter masks

In S1E18, Tristan tells Rory that he’s thinking about swearing off girls for a while. Rory laughs, and Tristan says, “You don’t think I can!” Rory answers, “No, I… I think you can. I just think it would be hard for you. It would probably involve some kind of lockup facility and one of those Hannibal Lecter masks.”

Hannibal Lecter is a character portrayed in a series of novels by Thomas Harris as well as in several movies and a television series based on those novels. He is a forensic psychiatrist and a cannibalistic serial killer. When he is imprisoned, he is fitted with a straightjacket and a mask that covers half his face, acting as a muzzle.

What, did David Mamet just stop by?

In S1E18, Emily is trying to find all the awful gifts her mother-in-law has given her over the years. She rants about the “lion tables and stupid naked angels with their butts!” Lorelai says, “Woah! Stupid naked angel butts? What, did David Mamet just stop by?”

David Mamot is an American playwright and screenwriter, known for “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,”  and “The Verdict.” Mamot does have a rather distinctive style for writing dialogue, although I’m not sure “stupid naked angel butts” really fits. Lorelai could be connecting Emily’s use of language to “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” which is full of profanity and insults.

A teenage “Sodom and Gomorrah”

In S1E17, Lane and Rory are looking around Madeline’s house at her party. They see the pool table and the DJ. Lane comments, “It’s like a teenage ‘Sodom and Gomorrah.'”

Sodom and Gomorrah were two ancient cities located along the Jordan River in Canaan. According to the Old Testament and the Quran, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God because of their sins, which included rape, homosexuality, robbery, and other unspecified behaviors. The term “Sodom and Gomorrah” has come to describe hedonistic, self-indulgent, or otherwise sinful groups.

Good morning, Sleeping Beauty!

In S1E17, Lorelai sees Luke come downstairs into the diner after Rachel had let him sleep in. She says, grinning, “Good morning, Sleeping Beauty!”

Sleeping Beauty is a story by Charles Perault, as well as a Grimm Brothers fairy tale and a 1959 animated Disney movie. The basic story is that a princess is cursed by a fairy to fall into a deep sleep for many years until a Prince’s kiss wakes her up.

Why don’t you just stay home and read “The Bell Jar?”

In S1E17, Rory tells Lorelai that she’s going to Madeline’s “Chilton party.” Lorelai says, “Honey, why don’t you just stay home and read ‘The Bell Jar?’ Same effect!”

“The Bell Jar” is a novel by Sylvia Plath, published in 1963. It was her only novel, and it is generally understood to be semi-autobiographical. The novel describes the beginnings of the writing career of a woman named Esther, and her struggles with mental illness. In the book, Esther’s health improves after an inpatient hospital stay, although in reality, Plath died from suicide shortly after the novel was published.

…Or is that just a guys’ crying movie?

In S1E17, Rory is trying to convince Lorelai that she doesn’t need to wallow over her breakup with Dean, but Lorelai doesn’t believe her. Rory explains that she really should be focusing on school and getting into Harvard, and Lorelai responds, “So… should we rent ‘Old Yeller’ too, or is that just a guys’ crying movie?”

“Old Yeller” is a 1957 Disney live-action film about a dog who is taken in by a family with two young boys. It is based on a 1956 novel with the same name. The dog, named Old Yeller, saves both boys’ lives several times, but one day he is bitten by a rabid wolf, and the older boy is forced to shoot his beloved dog.